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How to Create a Home Defense Plan That Really Works

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Every year, somewhere between 1.2 million and 3+ million American citizens use a firearm in self-defense, according to recently compiled home invasion statistics and crime reports. These numbers offer proof for the need to take home defense planning seriously.

Be aware of your home’s weak points, such as windows that a burglar can break into using a crowbar.

This doesn’t mean that homeowners should live in fear. It means that responsible homeowners need to use comprehensive home defense strategies to protect their property. The most effective strategies require proper planning and the best information to go off of to prevent these incidents from happening in their homes.

Here’s how to create a home defense plan that really works:

Start By Burglar-Proofing Your Home

Over 2 million home burglaries are reported each year in the U.S., according to Safeguard the World, a Florida security company. It’s important for homeowners to take the first critical step to protect themselves against the most common crime in most neighborhoods, by burglar-proofing their homes. Burglars are typically opportunists who will break into a house if it looks unkempt or unsecured.

Modern door lock with multiple bolts

Choose a modern security door with multiple latch bolts.

Start by securing potential weak points in your home, such as open windows, unlocked doors, open backyards with bushes, garages without lighting, and unsecured entry points to balconies and upper floors. Such weak points are what burglars or home invaders will look for when trying to get into your home.

Make sure your home is well maintained. Strategically place outdoor lighting to cover blind spots, trim your outdoor shrubs and lawn, never leave ladders outside, clear away debris, and fix any damaged windows and locks. Embrace the habit of shutting your windows and locking all doors when you’re not at home.

You can also get yourself and your family a dog as part of your home security plan. Large breeds, such as German Shepherds, Pitbulls, Labradors, Doberman, Bullmastiff, Akita, and Rottweilers are great options for homeowners who are serious about their home defense and deterrent strategies. These intelligent breeds have loud barks and are able to warn families of an intruder.

Install Video Surveillance Cameras

two security cameras on a pole

Consider a system of outdoor surveillance cameras as a deterrent.

Only 20% of American homes use security cameras. Despite this, it’s important to note that homes without security systems are 300% more likely to be broken into than homes with them. Criminals don’t want to be recorded or seen, which is one of the main reasons why cameras are an effective deterrent. If you keep many valuables in your home or spend a lot of time away, installing security cameras is a must.

Modern security camera systems are more cost-effective than ever to install and maintain. Many also carry advanced features standard, such as remote viewing and playback from phones, tablets, and computers. Additional features for consideration include long-range infrared night vision, pan-tilt-zoom capabilities, motion-sensitive activation.

Install cameras in strategic areas like your main entry doors, garage, or backyard. Put up a surveillance sign saying “Video surveillance in use 24/7.” This is usually a great deterrent.

Consider Getting a Self-Defense Firearm

man shooting at an indoor range

Regularly practice at a firing range for self-defense so you know your gun and are prepared to use it.

As part of your home defense plan, it’s advisable also to get yourself a rifle, shotgun or handgun for self-defense. Consider the type of gun and ammunition you need for self-defense, the training required to become proficient at using it, and additional equipment you may need. This could be a flashlight, ear protection, and/or a well-fitting holster.

You must also ensure that your gun or guns are stored safely in an easily accessible gun safe, so that your weapons and ammunition are ready when they’re needed.

Regularly Review and Practice Your Home Defense Plan

A home defense plan is never complete without regular reviews and practice to ensure its viability. By combining home defense strategies such as, burglar proofing, installing surveillance cameras both indoors and outdoors, and keeping a firearm ready, you can more easily take control of any situation that puts you and your family at risk. Cameras are an especially effective enhancement to the way you use guns for self-defense, as tools for enhanced situational awareness.

Make sure to strengthen all possible points of entry in your home and keep your home defense deterrents up to date. You and your family need a concrete home defense plan and must be able to execute it without hesitation or confusion. Consider the size and layout of your home, how many people live in your home, the abilities, and age of each member, and other details like where to go or regroup in case of a breach.

Taking the Right Approach

You can create a home defense plan that really works by being realistic and preparing for the most likely scenarios first. With the right approach, your home will be protected from incidents like break-ins when you’re at home or away, property intrusion and others.

Do you have a home security plan or tip? Share it in the comment section.

Seth Thompson is a writer and content strategist specializing in topics concerning homeowners and business owners for companies including CCTV Security Pros. he also writes about developments in science and technology. In his free time, Seth enjoys basketball and nature walks.

The mission of Cheaper Than Dirt!’s blog, “The Shooter’s Log,” is to provide information-not opinions-to our customers and the shooting community. We want you, our readers, to be able to make informed decisions. The information provided here does not represent the views of Cheaper Than Dirt!



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